RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After an arctic blast moved through Central Virginia over the weekend, local contractors told 8News how to prepare your home for worsening winter.

Mark Binshtok, president of MR. FIX IT, said home safety should be at the top of everyone’s minds during the colder season. This means making sure every part of your home is immune to cold, even the small nooks and crannies you don’t usually think about.

“We want to make sure we fill up holes and cracks, so that we prevent those frigid temperatures in the wintertime from coming in,” he said.

Binshtok added that sub-zero temperatures outside could mean damage to supply lines, water lines, pumps and drains — especially if they’re closer to the outside wall or exposed to the frigid weather.

We sometimes see a shower or bathtub that the water might actually stand in the pipes,” Binshtok said.

According to Binshtok, a few things a homeowner should do to prepare include insulating pipes, closing crawl space vents and making sure garden hoses are disconnected from the spigot. Exposing pipes to warm air can also help, especially for the pipes under your kitchen or bathroom sink.

“I even recommend to open up the cabinets under the kitchen sink and let a little bit of the warmer air from inside the house get in there under the vanities,” Binshtok said. “Anywhere that there’s plumbing we want to have the plumbing be warmer than normal.”

Don’t forget to close, lock and weather-strip your doors and windows, too. After all, these are often the first places cold air will creep into your home.

“We see a lot of people just forget that their windows maybe were closed, but not latched,” Binshtok said. “Make sure in the cold that everything is latched.”

However, there is one part of your house that should remain a bit chilly — the attic. Binshtok says that homeowners should actually keep their attic colder than the rest of the house in order to prevent ice dams, which occur when heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes overnight. But according to the National Weather Service, ice dams can be prevented if an attic is kept at a similar temperature to the outside.

Ice dams are created by not having enough ventilation or insulation in the attic,” Binshtok said. “So, making sure that the attic remains within five degrees of the outside air prevents damage from occurring to the house.”